Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Is Yale University committing even more fraud on the world?:


Advocacy Group Names Yale In Suit

December 12, 2006
By KIM MARTINEAU, Hartford Courant Staff Writer
A nonprofit advocacy group for people with rare diseases is asking a federal judge to stop Yale University and a New York publishing house from selling a medical handbook the group contends was copied from a similar guide it puts out.

U.S. District Judge Peter Dorsey listened to three days of testimony last week and is expected to issue a decision soon.

The National Organization for Rare Disorders in Danbury advocates for people with rare diseases, called "orphan" disorders because they affect fewer than 200,000 people. The group serves as a clearinghouse for information on obscure diseases ranging from Achalasia, an esophagus disorder, to Zellweger Syndrome, a genetic disorder that affects fetal development.

This summer, Grey House Publishing in Millerton, N.Y., printed "The Grey House Rare Disorders Directory." NORD says portions of the book were copied from its website and own reference guide, "The Complete Directory for People With Rare Disorders."

NORD collaborated with Grey House on two earlier editions of the guide but Grey House's rights to the copyrighted work expired this year, according to a lawsuit NORD filed in federal court last month. The lawsuit accuses Grey House of deceiving the public by marketing its directory as "the only print resource" on "over 700 rare disorders." The suit also challenges Grey House's claim that the guide is a "long awaited" third edition, written by doctors and faculty at Yale's medical school and Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital.

As a charity, most of NORD's funding comes from donations, membership dues and the sale of items such as the rare-disorder guide. Rather than compete with another rare-disorder guide, NORD says, it has delayed the printing of its third edition. The group contends that its reputation has been harmed and that lost royalties have hurt its ability to do charitable work.

The editor of Grey House's book on rare disorders, Dr. Alan Friedman, a pediatrician and professor at Yale, is named in the suit, with seven other doctors.

"Yale does not believe there's any merit to the claim," said Tom Conroy, a university spokesman.

Contact Kim Martineau at kmartineau@courant.com.

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